Archive for ‘Contemporary Realistic Fiction’

June 1, 2011

Stargirl

Stargirl
Author: Jerry Spinelli
Copyright 2002 Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 978-0439444439
Genre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction

As an unconventional teenager, Stargirl Caraway enters a high school in which students struggle to accept differences.  During her first days of school, the students there speculate how Stargirl came to be – a home school disaster or an alien from outer space.  But Stargirl is not swayed by the gossip and continues to be her own person in a sea of characters who only conform.  Leo falls in love with Stargirl and her ability to be different.  However, after the high schoolers push Stargirl to the peak of her popularity and begin to deride her penchant for quirkiness, Leo is forced to decide: does he want to be in love with Stargirl or does he simply want to be liked?  This story offers young readers a fresh perspective on popularity, bullying, and the ability to be unique even when you are being pushed to conform.  It is a must-read for high school students.

Advertisements
June 1, 2011

Stuck in Neutral
Author: Terry Trueman
Copyright 2001 HarperTeen
ISBN: 0064472132
Genre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Stuck in Neutral is absolutely an excellent read.  Written from the perspective of Shawn McDaniel, a teenager who has severe cerebral palsy, this book forces readers to examine their beliefs about people with disabilities and society’s reaction to them.  Shawn is unable to communicate in any way because he lost the ability to control his muscles when he was born.  Although he is unable to convey it, he understands everything going on in the world around him and has a remarkable memory.  Shawn’s father has a particularly difficult time with his son’s disability and considers the unthinkable as the story unfolds.  Stuck in Neutral asks readers to consider what may be possible for thousands of people with severe disabilities – are these individuals trapped inside a body that will not function?

June 1, 2011

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Authors: Richard & Florence Atwater
Illustrator: Robert Lawson
Copyright 1938 Scholastic, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0316058438
Genre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a delightful, classic tale about a man named Mr. Popper and how he came to be the leader of twelve Antartic penguins.  Mr. Popper, a painter by trade, struggles to support his wife and two children on a seasonal wage, and this task becomes even more difficult when he receives a penguin in the mail from one of his most admired world explorers.  As the story unfolds, Mr. Popper becomes the caretaker for eleven other penguins and with some creative thinking by Mrs. Popper, they provide a pleasant suprise for the Popper family.